December 16, 2017

A Data-Driven Understanding of Physical Medicine


In the consumer marketplace, customer experience is king. Online retailer Amazon is an example of a company that has long excelled in their ability to adapt and innovate in ways that optimize the shopping experience for their customers. And this begins with a data-driven understanding of what’s working vs what isn’t. One must accurately and continuously measure…[Continue Reading]

Clinical Info, Second Edition 2016, Now Available


Optum is pleased to release the latest edition of Clinical Info, encompassing noteworthy changes to medications and guidelines affecting the workers’ compensation industry. Within this edition you will read about the ongoing efforts to curb opioid analgesic misuse and abuse and the use of adjuvant medications for chronic pain. In addition, a list of…[Continue Reading]

The Emerging Use of Naloxone: What Workers’ Compensation Payers Need to Know


In an effort to reduce the epidemic number of overdose-related deaths and injuries associated with the misuse of opioid analgesics, many states have been looking to enact legislation to help curb this trend. One way states have tried to accomplish this is to establish prescribing quantity limits on opioid analgesics. They are also establishing…[Continue Reading]

Planting Seeds: The Changing Landscape of Medical Marijuana


Today, 25 states and the District of Coumbia provide statutory language that allows for the comprehensive use of medical marijuana.1 With growing legal momentum for medical marijuana, it is no longer a question of if it will impact workers’ comp, but when and how. So now the question becomes: what might that future look like…[Continue Reading]

More Insight Leads to Better Outcomes


Throughout 2016 Optum is offering a comprehensive continuing education program in which its experts share actionable insight on workers’ compensation trends and challenges. Following each presentation, they will provide Key Takeaways reiterating guidance, that when applied, lead to better outcomes. Opioid analgesics have an important place…[Continue Reading]

Electromedical Devices: Use in Pain Management and Injury-Related Complications


The high prevalence of chronic pain coupled with the risks associated with the use of prescription medications, particularly opioid analgesics to treat pain, has led to increasing interest in the development of nonpharmacologic treatment options. One such nonpharmacologic treatment category, electromedical devices, is sometimes overlooked. While the different…[Continue Reading]

Seven Considerations when Evaluating Pharmacogenetic Testing in Workers’ Comp


While a number of variables influence how medications affect each claimant, clinical evidence suggests that genetics may influence how medication metabolizes in the body. A growing area of study, pharmacogenetics explores how inherited or acquired genetic variations may influence an individual’s response to medication therapy. When contemplating…[Continue Reading]

Trending Pharmacy Cost-Driver: Topical Packs & Kits


A tube of Voltaren® Gel (diclofenac), a commonly prescribed topical non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), will cost a payer $60. Yet when it is packaged together with antibacterial wipes, its list price may be about nine times this cost, at $500. Convenience packs, or “co-packs” are not a new concept in workers’ compensation. However, there has been…[Continue Reading]

Moving Beyond Opioid Analgesics


While many people are aware of the risks of misuse, abuse, addiction and even overdose that accompany the use of opioid analgesics, not everyone understands the profound affects they can have on nearly every body system. Last summer you met Anne, a 45-year old woman who injured her back at work. Over the course of her claim…[Continue Reading]

Controllable Risk Factors in Diagnostic Imaging for Injured Workers


Advanced imaging, including the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) scans frequently used in workers’ compensation, help physicians diagnose workplace injuries and develop effective treatment plans. Numerous studies show that advanced imaging has improved medical outcomes in the areas of declining mortality, reduced…[Continue Reading]

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